The summer rays of the sun stream through the windows of our homes, and the warm, inviting temperature inspires us to venture out and take deep breaths of fresh air. Stop sitting around – it’s time to enjoy the holiday season! You have no ideas for an active recreation during the upcoming holiday? We have prepared as many as 30 suggestions which will certainly curb any complaints about boredom and will spur you to spend your free time in an interesting way!
Why is it good to choose an outdoor activity?
Beautiful weather and favourable meteorological conditions are not only a great “springboard” on which to jump out from the four walls of your house or crowded fitness club. Mother Nature, and the summer ambience, bestow many valuable health benefits which we should take full advantage of, as long as there is an opportunity. What kind of positive elements can be expected when actively spending time outdoors?
- Maintaining an appropriate level of vitamin D3 – the natural synthesis of this ingredient takes place in the skin under the influence of solar radiation, and its role is extremely important for the daily diet and optimal health, including supporting the maintenance of a healthy bone condition, increasing the use of calcium and phosphorus from food, promoting the proper functioning of the immune system, and affecting the proper functioning of the muscles.
- The oxygenation of the body – no matter how you ventilate your rooms, there is no substitute for a breath of fresh air from open spaces! Providing the proper oxygenation has an extremely valuable impact on a number of important activities in your daily functioning, e.g. better focus, improved appetite, increased energy, and even reduced fatigue.
- The improvement of mood and the reduction of stress – the colour of the surrounding greenery, in combination with the sounds of nature, will certainly help you to keep calm and lose any feeling of excessive irritation. Active recreation outside will certainly be more effective in relieving tension.
- Rest from technology and too-many buildings around – although spending the summer in the city has its charms, the real rest is nature! We don’t have to run away into the deep wild without any contact with the world. Sometimes a short trip outside the city, or locales away from the noisy city centre, are enough to feel real relief from the oppressive infrastructure.
30 ideas for spending your free time actively outside the home!
Vacation and free time have their own rules, so passing a few idle days is absolutely allowed! However, for a longer period it’s wasting your life. So why not make the most of each moment and do something useful for yourself?! There are lots of fun solutions you can try out – and learn something completely new! Here is a list of 30 ideas to implement in your spare time – especially outdoors!
Jogging is definitely the King of outdoor activities, which, in the case of true enthusiasts, is practised all the year round and in all weather conditions. What’s more, running for beginners doesn’t require a lot of money – you only need well-fitting shoes and comfortable clothes, and the rest will come from sincere enthusiasm and a strong will. You can run alone, in pairs, or in a larger group of friends. Every hour is good, and the running paths (especially those outside the city) allow you to safely enjoy the advantages of nature, and at the same time work on your physical shape.
Holidays are clearly associated with going to the water – some of us decide to spend a vacation by the sea, others choose the surrounding lakes. Swimming is de rigueur in the summer, and definitely a good way to spend time outdoors actively. Especially since its influence on the body is extremely valuable. Thanks to swimming, you are able to engage practically all the muscles, shape the body, and regulate breathing. In addition, swimming allows you to harden your body before winter, and also helps you to quickly acquire the desired tan.
Hiking in mountains and the surrounding areas
However, if the sea is not the object of your summer dreams, then the mountains will be a much-better solution. They, as is well known, not only impress with their majesty, but also certainly allow you to relax and gather your thoughts. Mountain trails are also a test of your own endurance, and of your character, although you must not forget about the essential safety rules, especially since weather conditions can change in a very-short time!
Summer is definitely the perfect time for short and long bike tours, which are a great way to get to know areas and escape the city. At a low cost, and with health benefits (including for the muscles of the legs and respiratory efficiency), cycling affords an opportunity to spend your free time actively. Then there is the prospect of admiring the surrounding nature, and even discovering many charming places. Road bikes are perfect for people riding on paths, while MTB bikes are ideal for lovers of routes running through forests.
“Walking with poles” is normally associated with physical activity and recreation for seniors. No wonder – poles used in Nordic walking are a great way to take pressure off the joints, which allows you to cover long distances without overloading them and unnecessarily risk unexpected injuries. As simple as it might seem, it actually takes a sufficient amount of time to learn the correct Nordic-walking technique. It is of note that in Poland there are many routes which allow you to march this way. The walking poles facilitate greater involvement of the upper body muscles (especially the arms and shoulder girdle).
Street workouts and calisthenics
Over the last few years, the popularity of “pole training” has increased tremendously, which is due to, inter alia, the low costs associated with these forms of activity, the general accessibility to the places where they are practised, and above all, the comprehensive impact on shaping a sports figure! Street workouts are more and more often being chosen by young people, who focus on dynamically developing the body and its motor skills. What’s more, unlike regular strength training, calisthenics allows you to understand and feel your body much better, improve your range of motion, and learn the correct techniques of movement. All this is possible during outdoor training – street-workout squares are no longer solely the domain of big cities, but also of smaller towns. Training takes place in groups of various sizes, which is a good way to make new friends.
Tennis and badminton
Both disciplines are great ways to compete for 2 or 4 people, which gives you even-more fun than in the case of a sport practised alone. While tennis matches should be played on specially designated courts, in the case of badminton, the game can take place, for example, on the beach or on campsites. Both disciplines are excellent for testing your reflexes, agility and coordination. What’s more, these sports are not associated with an excessively high risk of injury, and can be practised at any age.
Walks in the woods
Physical recreation and active rest do not always have to be associated with sweating and a sense of competition. Sometimes a simple walk in the fresh air with the natural sounds of nature is enough. Wandering in the forest is certainly one of the best forms of spending time outside the home, and will allow you to get rid of any hint of stress or fatigue resulting from being in an urban environment.
The training system based on specific asanas (exercises), and various positions, has a tradition in the Indian culture, and its positive impact on the body is felt equally at the levels of the body and the spirit. Yoga allows you to find the right balance between your physicality, psyche, and emotions, supports the work on making the structures of the musculoskeletal system more flexible, improves blood circulation and respiratory efficiency, and helps to eliminate pain in the spine. All you need for this training is a mat, comfortable clothes, and good weather!
Gymnastics and stretching
Stretching exercises are certainly valuable elements in outdoor training, which is primarily related to their valuable impact on the condition and functioning of the body. Like yoga, they allow you to increase the flexibility of joint capsules and ligaments, exert a positive effect on the range of motion, have a highly beneficial effect on muscle nutrition, and ensure the optimal level of mobility. In addition, stretching generally allows you to get rid of the accumulated stress caused by excessive muscle tension.
Team games and team disciplines
Football, basketball, volleyball, and many other team sports can be safely classified as successful ways to spend time actively outside the home. Nowadays, access to sports facilities such as Orlik allows you to play in comfortable conditions, which is a great replacement for a closed hall. Team games, in addition to their clear impact on physical fitness (especially efficiency), allow you to shape your character, your ability to function in a group, your logical thinking, and, above all, to accept failures when you lose.
A well-equipped open-air gym can be a great substitute for equipment locked in a fitness club. More and more often you can observe places with exercise machines, or zones with free weights, which will allow you to perform comprehensive training of your whole body. Instead of staying in a stuffy gym, it’s ideal to work on your figure outside in fine weather. Especially since the holiday sun will help burn off any accumulated fat tissue.
Bicycle paths can also be used as a route for lovers of rollers, which can be a very-good alternative to car driving. Although learning might be problematic at first, over time you will certainly start to appreciate their value in the form of developing better balance, improving coordination, and even improving slimming and maintaining a healthy body weight.
Boating in kayaks and pedal boats
Another option for people spending their holidays by large or small water bodies is to rent boating equipment. Kayaking is the perfect training for your back and shoulder muscles, and, when you’re travelling in pairs, it’s a great way to improve your ability to cooperate and communicate with each other. In the case of pedal boats, you will certainly provide your legs with good training, which will also allow you to find secluded places (eg. in the middle of a lake) and “leave your problems” on the shore.
Outdoor games and activities
A great way to feel like a child again, and to have some fun during a trip out of town. On the Internet you can find many programmes of games adapted to specific age groups or current field conditions. Some of them can be all about movement, others can be a great form of learning practical and new skills (e.g. survival techniques), but all of them will allow you to compete with friends, and will be a perfect way to overcome boredom!
Skateboarding or longboarding
Another solution for eco-style rides is a skateboard, or its modern equivalent, called a longboard. Both devices provide much-easier balance and greater stability than popular rollers. They also have a beneficial effect on the development of the abdominal and leg muscles, improve physical endurance, and teach coordination and the maintaining of smooth body movements.
Another great proposition for people who choose active relaxation by the water. Kitesurfing is a modified version of the classic wave surfing, but uses a kite to hover over the water. This extreme sport has a great effect on balancing the body, strengthens the muscles, helps relieve stress, and is a real injection of adrenaline and satisfaction while fighting the maritime elements.
The undoubted advantage of golf is its universal nature – it is a sport recommended for practically all ages, but, despite its calm nature in relation to other disciplines, it also requires the appropriate physical condition. Golf means, above all, learning to focus, and practise self-control, precision, and calmness. The low popularity of this sport in our country is dictated by the relatively high costs. Therefore, a good alternative is so-called mini golf, which allows classic game play on specially designed courses.
Fans of extreme sensations and real fatigue will surely appreciate the magic of the triathlon, which is a combination of three disciplines – swimming, cycling, and running. This sport is a real lesson in humility, as well as an incredible test of one’s own abilities. It allows you to comprehensively shape your own physical fitness, improve the appearance of your figure, increase your bodily efficiency and, above all, overcome your own weaknesses! You can learn more about the triathlon, training for it, and all matters related to practising this discipline, in the series Monday with the Triathlon, which was produced by the Olimp Sport Nutrition brand – Poland’s market leader – and the amazing Robert Karaś – world-record holder and world champion in the Ironman Ultra Triathlon – and a prized member of the Olimp Sport Nutrition Team, which competes at international level in a wide range of sports disciplines.
Jogging with a pet
People who have problems with mobilisation and motivation to run can involve their own dog in their running! Jogging with a pet is the perfect way to spend time actively outdoors with your friend, who will certainly be pleased with this turn of events, and will keep pace with you throughout the outing! It is worth combining duty with pleasure and kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.
Beach team games
Once again, we return to vacationing by the water. Some beaches and lakeside recreational areas have wild pitches nearby, or a professionally adapted place for sports activities. Volleyball or beach ball are ideals forms of active rest, and an alternative for people who do not want to spend the whole day idling on a towel. Especially considering that the sandy ground of the pitch gives a lot of fun and often requires more commitment from the players.
Functional training with equipment in the field
Exercises in the open air are a frequent item in the repertoire of many personal trainers, which is a very-good springboard from the training studio. Especially if the weather is beautiful outside, and high temperatures and sunshine improve the reduction of accumulated body fat. There are many great pieces of equipment which can be used for outdoor training – eg. kettlebell weights, the TRX strap system, and elastic gymnastic bands. You will be able to exercise your entire body, improve your condition, and strengthen your muscle force – no problem!
Aerobics and fitness
Good news for aerobics and fitness enthusiasts – more and more fitness clubs are deciding to organise training in the open air. In most cases, the exercise area is located near the club, and the meetings themselves are held in practically identical groups. More space, more air, beautiful weather, and equally positive energy!
While bocce is not a dynamic discipline, unlike other activities, it can definitely be a good way to spend time outside the home. What is this game all about? It is a team sport, which basically consists of throwing balls towards a smaller one (the so-called pig or pallino). The team which places its own balls closer to the target wins. The perfect form of entertainment for a lazy afternoon, which will allow you to learn patience, precision, and the sense of anticipation and planning.
EMOM and HIIT training
Both training methods are great choices for people who have a limited amount of free time, but at the same time don’t want to give up active rest. The EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) method consists of performing a certain number of repetitions within 60 seconds. The rest of the time is a break, e.g. if you do 8 repetitions of the exercise in 45 seconds, you have 15 seconds of rest. It is a dynamic training system which certainly saves time and guarantees high intensity. Most training plans allow you to work out your entire body in about 15 minutes!
Speaking of intensity, it is also well worth thinking about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) training. This is a training programme for amateurs and professionals, which lasts no more than 30 minutes. The assumptions are simple – the intensive effort to rest is 1:4 (e.g. for 15 seconds exercise at the highest intensity level, and for the next 60 seconds at moderate intensity – which is also a form of rest). In both cases, don’t forget to start your training with a warm-up and end with a stretching session.
Playing frisbee is a great idea in virtually all natural environments. All you need is a sufficiently large space and the throwing disc, and you are basically ready to play! The number of people participating in the game is just about unlimited, and you can freely modify it and enrich it with your own rules (e.g. ultimate), and even involve your own pets (dog frisbee). The game allows you to treat your dexterity, endurance, and speed, and above all, it provides a lot of fun and positive energy!
Fans of adrenaline and fun at heights can take advantage of the facilities of nearby rope parks – specially designed structures fixed on trees, which allow them to practise sports similar to mountaineering. The routes are adapted to their level of advancement and current level of mobility, and the safety of participants is supervised by experienced instructors. All this among beautiful nature, clean air, and amazing views, bringing real benefits for their physical and mental shape. Routes in rope parks require a lot of involvement of shoulder muscles, maintaining balance and balancing the torso, as well as endurance.
Mountain and rock climbing
Advocates of more experiences, and those who want something more than climbing the walls, can try their hand at climbing mountains! In this case, you will need to be in very-good condition and have strong arms, which will make it easier to overcome the routes. Of course, you should define your objectives, and beginners should absolutely pass their debut approaches with more-experienced colleagues. You should not forget about the appropriate belaying (rope tensioning), which is an absolute safety element when climbing!
Wandering in the forest can be combined with picking mushrooms, which appear in big numbers during the summer. However, you must remember that in addition to edible species, there are just as many dangerous and poisonous varieties. That is why you should always choose only the well-known mushrooms. Picking mushrooms should be treated as an opportunity to escape the city, and take some rest away from civilisation.
Last but not least, we recommend paintball matches, which can certainly be included in an active and adrenaline-filled holiday! The arenas for these games are, in most cases, forests, or areas with abandoned buildings in open spaces. Their sizes vary enormously, but each match requires speed and stamina to beat the opposing team. If you haven’t tried it so far, it’s well worth catching up on!